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January 2021- Message from Mayor Mike Mason

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mayor mike mason

Looking Ahead to a New Year

2020 was tough. Who thought we would face a pandemic that virtually turned our lives upside
down? On one thing we all agree: we’re happy to say good riddance to 2020! The new year
brings us hope with the release of the COVID-19 vaccine. We eagerly await news from the
Georgia Department of Health on when and where the vaccines will be available and will pass
along that information as soon as we can.

Despite the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus, the City accomplished quite a bit in 2020. We continued our efforts to keep you safe with the addition of 25 video cameras with license plate readers (installation to be completed in the first quarter of this year). For pedestrian safety, a bridge that carries walkers, joggers, and cyclists over Peachtree Parkway (S.R. 141) opened last fall. The bridge is part of the Corners Connector trail system that, when complete, will connect residents to shops, restaurants, and businesses around an 11.5-mile multi-use trail. In August we opened a new section of the trail that skirts Technology Lake in Tech Park. The scenic path winds along the lake’s shore and will eventually encircle the entire lake.

On the business front, the city processed over 370 new business license applications in 2020. Additionally, CarMax announced an expansion last spring adding 200 additional positions at its location on Peachtree Parkway, and Soliant Health, a health care recruiting company, relocated to Tech Park bringing an additional 400 new jobs to our city.

In the fall, we were able to provide CARES Act funding to a number of small businesses that struggled to keep their doors open since the coronavirus struck. The city dispersed $2.66 million in small business assistance grants to 118 local businesses.

Additionally, at its December meeting, the council appointed board members to the city’s new
Redevelopment Authority, that will provide renewed focus on reinvigorating the Holcomb
Bridge corridor and other areas of the city. The Authority can plan, administer, and implement
redevelopment and community improvement projects, as well as aid in identifying and obtaining public funding for industrial, commercial, or residential improvements or expansion projects. The Authority brings new tools which, we hope, will bring developers interested in investing in this highly visible and important gateway of our city.

The Authority board is made up entirely of Peachtree Corners residents who have broad backgrounds such as attorneys, real estate professionals, educators, and engineers. The members come from all geographic areas of the city and include men and women of different races. Councilmember Phil Sadd and Mayor Pro Tem Weare Gratwick will serve as ex-officio non-voting members.

Some of you have asked why much of the city’s initial redevelopment efforts began with the
Tech Park and Town Center area instead of the Holcomb Bridge corridor. With respect to Tech Park, it is important to understand its role as the economic driver for our city which supports the quality of life and high home property values we all appreciate. When the city was founded in 2012, however, some of its anchor businesses had relocated to newer technology parks in the surrounding metro area and the office vacancy rate was skyrocketing. By focusing our efforts on re-invigorating Tech Park, it re-established our city as the technology hub that Paul Duke envisioned some 40 years ago.

The development of Town Center is a similar story of necessity reprioritizing your best intentions. The city had only been established for about 10 months, when news that the 21-acre property across from The Forum was destined to be a 263-garden style apartment development. I can tell you, buying this land had not even been on our radar when the news came out that this undeveloped property in a prime location had been sold to an apartment developer. If we had not acted swiftly and purchased this tract, none of us would be strolling along the Town Center sidewalks to take in the shops, restaurants, and outdoor concerts we’ve all come to enjoy.

When we became a city just a little over eight years ago, our first thought was to focus on reinvigorating the Holcomb Bridge corridor. However, the situations we faced required us to redirect our efforts. Now with Tech Park and the Town Center well underway, we are now eager to take full advantage of the tools that our new Redevelopment Authority has at its disposal to identify residential, recreational, business, commercial and industrial areas that may benefit from reimagined uses which will enhance the quality of life for each of us who call Peachtree Corners home.

Happy New Year, wishing you a safe and healthy 2021
Mike Mason, Mayor

Source: City of Peachtree Corners

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Local Resident Opens AtWork Location in Peachtree Corners

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AtWork, one of nation’s leading staffing franchises, has opened its third Metro Atlanta location in Peachtree Corners, Georgia at 6185 Buford Highway, Suite E-100.

AtWork Peachtree Corners is locally-owned by Kamal Bhatia, an immigrant from India with decades of experience in hospitality and as the Senior Vice President of Operations of Atlanta-based Action Bartending School.

AtWork, one of nation’s leading staffing franchises, has opened its third Metro Atlanta location in Peachtree Corners.
Kamal Bhatia

“There is an incredible need for AtWork’s services in Peachtree Corners,” said Bhatia. “Since migrating here in 1996, I’ve witnessed Atlanta evolve and sprout new communities north of the city, including my own. Peachtree Corners has become a hub for thriving businesses, and my goal with this location is to be a key resource between companies and job seekers to support the continued growth of our local economy.”

Bhatia’s son and daughter will assist him in the business.

“This is an opportunity to create a legacy company to ensure our community is supported for generations to come,” he said.

For more than three decades, AtWork’s mission has been to connect people with jobs and jobs with people. With more than 100 locations nationwide, AtWork puts nearly 40,000 individuals to work each year in administrative, light-industrial, accounting and finance, hospitality, IT and management-level positions at some of the nation’s largest and most recognizable companies.

“We’re proud to open our doors in Peachtree Corners and provide a common place for both job seekers and growing businesses to turn for staffing solutions,” said Jason Leverant, President and COO of AtWork.

“AtWork will serve as a key resource to help employees thrive, businesses prosper and communities flourish. Kamal is the perfect partner to champion our mission and be a servant leader in her local community,” he added.

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Business and Birdies: PCBA to Host PGA Tour Championship Exec.

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Alex Urban, Executive Director of the TOUR Championship in Atlanta

Don’t miss your chance to connect and learn at the Peachtree Corners Business Association‘s (PCBA) After Hours Speaker Series. Mark your calendars for Thursday, July 25 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and head to the Hilton Atlanta Northeast (5993 Peachtree Industrial Blvd, Peachtree Corners, GA 30092).

This event features guest speaker Alex Urban, Executive Director of the TOUR Championship in Atlanta. Urban brings more than just golf expertise to the table. He is a graduate of Clemson and UGA with a background in communications and marketing, and he’s passionate about using his skills for social good.

His talk, “Stewarding to Serve: How Leaders Can Leverage Resources for Community Impact,” promises valuable insights for current or aspiring business leaders.

Plus, the PCBA will be presenting a donation to Paint Gwinnett Pink, a local breast cancer charity making a real difference.

Ticket prices range from $25 for early bird members to $40 for guests.

Register today to secure your spot!

And click here for more PCBA news.

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Gwinnett Principals Tour Businesses with Partnership Gwinnett for Workforce Development

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A breakfast panel comprising (L to R) Dr. Calvin J. Watts, Lauren Croft, Chad Wagner, and Nick Masino (with moderator Andrew Hickey) discuss the importance of education and industry connection. // Photos courtesy of Partnership Gwinnett

Partnership Gwinnett, in collaboration with Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS), recently hosted its annual Principal Field Trip event. The program aimed to connect professionals in education and industry to support continued workforce development based on existing and future needs.

The day began with breakfast and a panel discussion featuring Nick Masino, President & CEO of Partnership Gwinnett; Dr. Calvin J. Watts, Superintendent of Gwinnett County Public Schools; Chad Wagner, President of Peachtree Packaging; and Lauren Croft, HR Director at Peachtree Packaging.

Principals and Industry leaders gather for a group photo at QTS during Partnership Gwinnett’s 2024 Principal Field Trip

“Our principals and educators play a critical role in shaping the future workforce of Gwinnett County. This event provides an opportunity to bridge the gap between education and industry, ensuring our students are prepared and ready for high-skill and in-demand careers,” stated Dr. Watts.

In addition to having lunch at Gwinnett Technical College, principals visited several industry partners, including Price Industries, QTS, Peachtree Packaging, Mitsubishi Trane HVAC, Aluvision, CleanSpark, Nextran, WIKA and Eagle Rock Studios. These visits allowed educational leaders to engage with local businesses and understand industry needs.

“Supporting this event underscores our commitment to investing in the future of our workforce. By partnering with GCPS and Partnership Gwinnett, we can ensure that students are equipped with the skills necessary to thrive in today’s job market,” said Wagner.

PFT attendees tour operations at Peachtree Packaging.

Gwinnett County Public Schools, the largest public school district in the state, serves approximately 182,000 students across 142 schools. The district’s diverse student population, representing 191 countries and speaking 98 different languages, benefits from career pathways and college and career readiness programs that support career exploration, industry certifications and internships.

“With thousands of students graduating each year, GCPS significantly contributes to the 2.6 million labor draw within a one-hour drive of Gwinnett County,” said Partnership Gwinnett Director of Economic Development Andrew Hickey. “As these graduates enter the workforce, they bring essential skills for high-skill and in-demand careers, ensuring a strong future for the local economy.”

Learn more about the work Partnership Gwinnett does here.

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